The PSA Group has announced that its first semi-autonomous car will be revealed this year and is likely to be launched in 2018. The DS 7 crossback SUV will be the company's first model equipped with Level-2 self-driving technology, and it will be followed by Citroen C5 Aircross in the second half of 2018. It plans to introduce fully autonomous cars by 2020.
With Level-2 'Connected Pilot' technology, the DS 7 crossback will be able to maintain lane and shift to let other vehicles pass. It will also have the self-parking facility as part of its advanced driver assistance system.
PSA plans to roll out Level-3 vehicles from 2020. It currently operates a fleet of 12 prototype vehicles with Level-3 self-driving capabilities, mostly comprising Citroen C4 Picassos and Peugeot 3008 GTs with automatic transmission.
The autonomous Peugeot 3008 GT, still in development, is equipped with five cameras, five lidar sensors, four short-range radar sensors and three log range radar sensors, giving 360deg coverage around the car. With 'Eyes off' technology, it will be able to drive itself on roads with high traffic mobility.
PSA is launching its autonomous vehicle programme under the banner of 'Autonomous Vehicles For All'. The company plans to gradually introduce its self-driving features to all of its models. The premium cars will be equipped with the technology first and, based on customer reactions, it will be filtered down to smaller cars.
The announcement from PSA has come at a time when rival Audi is launching its Level-2 self-driving-capable A8 flagship saloon. Audi has tied up with Nvidia to bring fully autonomous cars by 2020.